Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Lobotomy Room at Fontaine's 31 March 2017 DJ Set List



From the Facebook events page:

“It’s just what you need when you’re down in the dumps / One half hillbilly and one half punk …”

Revel in sleaze, voodoo and rock’n’roll - when incredibly strange dance party Lobotomy Room returns to the Polynesian-style basement Bamboo Lounge of Dalston’s premiere Art Deco vice den Fontaine’s! Friday 31 March! 

Lobotomy Room! Where sin lives! A punkabilly booze party! Sensual and depraved! A spectacle of decadence! Bad Music for Bad People! A Mondo Trasho evening of Beat, Beat Beatsville Beatnik Rock’n’Roll! Rockabilly Psychosis! Wailing Rhythm and Blues! Punk! Twisted Tittyshakers! White Trash Rockers! Kitsch! Exotica! Curiosities and other weird shit! Think John Waters soundtracks, or Songs the Cramps Taught Us, hosted by Graham Russell (of Dr Sketchy and Cockabilly notoriety). Expect desperate stabs from the jukebox jungle! Savage rhythms to make you writhe and rock! Now with vintage erotica projected on the big screen all night for your adult viewing pleasure! Come for the special offer cocktails - stay for the putrid music and dirty movies!

Admission: gratuit - that’s French for FREE!

Lobotomy Room: Faster. Further. Filthier.

It’s sleazy. It’s grubby. It’s trashy - you’ll love it!

A tawdry good time guaranteed!




/ Twist like Jayne Mansfield - at Lobotomy Room! /

This installment of Lobotomy Room got off to a nerve-shredding, nail-biting start. For the first tortuous ninety minutes, I was entirely alone in the Bamboo Lounge! Even after several years now of club-promoting, that fear (“no one is coming!”) is agonising. It never gets easier. So, when the first group of three people came down the stairs, I was ready to kiss them. And then later a whole gang (mostly female) who’d been drinking in Fontaine’s main-level bar all night ventured down and pretty much instantly started raucously dancing and screaming. This is pretty much what all DJs yearn for; I kept them whipped-up in a frenzy with surf instrumentals and punk. So yeah - heartfelt gratitude to all the Lobotomy Room attendees! The night was salvaged. And when I played Bow Wow Wow’s “Aphrodisiac”, one of them rushed up to me and exclaimed, “Yass bitch!” Probably the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me in all my years of doing Lobotomy Room.


Dream Boy - The 5,6,7,8s
Little Darlin' - Masaaki Hirao
Town Without Pity - James Chance and The Contortions
Be Bop A Lula - Alan Vega
Atomic Bongos - Lydia Lunch
Do You Remember Rock'n'Roll Radio? The Ramonetures
Vampira - The Misfits
Viva Las Vegas - Nina Hagen
Solitary Confinement - The Weirdos
We're Desperate - X
Love Me - The Phantom
People Ain't No Good - The Cramps
Surf Rat - The Rumblers
I Walk Like Jayne Mansfield - The 5,6,7,8s
That Makes It - Jayne Mansfield
Twistin' the Night Away - Divine
Wiped-Out - The Escorts
Hanky Panky - Rita Chao and The Quests
Whistle Bait - Larry Collins
Action Packed - Ronnie Dee
Jim Dandy - Sara Lee and The Spades
Margaya - The Fender Four
Wipe-Out - The Surfaris
Bombora - The Original Surfaris
Surfin' Bird - The Trashmen
Shortnin' Bread - The Readymen
Muleskinner Blues - The Fendermen
You're Driving Me Crazy - Dorothy Berry
What Do You Think I Am? Ike and Tina Turner
Roll with Me Henry - Etta James
Boss - The Rumblers
Meu bem lollipop - Wanderlea
Viens danser le twist - Johnny Hallyday
Harley Davidson - Brigitte Bardot
Intoxica - The Centurions
Carbona Not Glue - The Ramonetures
Teenage Lobotomy - The Ramones
Aphrodisiac - Bow Wow Wow
Breathless - X
Rock Around the Clock - The Sex Pistols
The Girl Can't Help It - Little Richard
Lucille - Masaaki Hirao

Other upcoming events - for all your Lobotomy Room needs! Scrawl the dates in blood!


Lobotomy Room Goes to the Movies film club on Wednesday 26 April: 

“I’m a thief and a shitkicker and - uh – I’d like to be famous!” Divine as Dawn Davenport

Lobotomy Room Goes to the Movies is the FREE monthly film club downstairs at Fontaine’s devoted to Bad Movies We Love (our motto: Bad Movies for Bad People), specialising in the kitsch, the cult and the queer! Cinema’s Sleaze Maestro (and Patron Saint of Lobotomy Room) John Waters turns 71 in April. To celebrate, this month’s presentation is Waters’ definitive trash epic Female Trouble (1974) on Wednesday 26 April! See freaky 300-pound hog princess Divine in his greatest role as unrepentant bad girl and criminal Dawn Davenport!

In his 1981 book Shock Value, Waters himself outlines Female Trouble as “the story of a headline-seeking criminal named Dawn Davenport (Divine). The film traces her life from teenage years as a suburban brat to her untimely death in the electric chair.” As Jack Stevenson eloquently argues in his essay on Female Trouble in issue number five of Little Joe Magazine: “Waters’ films have been called comedies but this one is full of horror … the chemistry of the cast sets this film apart and makes it Waters’ most collaborative and yes, spiritual work. It was the film they were all put on earth to make, the culmination of a collective vision. The unjustly more celebrated Pink Flamingos is lifeless in comparison and was really just a dress rehearsal for Female Trouble. For Female Trouble Waters functioned more as a psychic medium than a movie director, populating his all-American disaster story with a large movable feast of cast, crew, friends and oddball “discoveries”, tapping into the spirit of the times as well as the spirit of a specific rebel milieu in Baltimore. Then he spiked it with energy, attitude and weirdness, and zapped it to life.”

The film is FREE but seating is limited (we can seat about 30 people in the Bamboo Lounge). Contacting Fontaine’s in advance to reserve a guaranteed seat is highly recommended: email ruby@fontaines.bar or call 07718 000546. Doors to the Bamboo Lounge open at 8 pm. Film starts at 8:30 pm. You won’t want to miss John Water’s putrid masterpiece! Now repeat after me: “Liquid eyeliner …” 



Lobotomy Room Dance Party on Friday 28 April 2017:

“It’s just what you need when you’re down in the dumps / One half hillbilly and one half punk …”

Revel in sleaze, voodoo and rock’n’roll - when incredibly strange dance party Lobotomy Room returns to the Polynesian-style basement Bamboo Lounge of Dalston’s premiere Art Deco vice den Fontaine’s! Friday 28 April!

Lobotomy Room! Where sin lives! A punkabilly booze party! Sensual and depraved! A spectacle of decadence! Bad Music for Bad People! A Mondo Trasho evening of Beat, Beat Beatsville Beatnik Rock’n’Roll! Rockabilly Psychosis! Wailing Rhythm and Blues! Twisted Tittyshakers! Punk! White Trash Rockers! Kitsch! Exotica! Curiosities and Other Weird Shit! Think John Waters soundtracks, or Songs the Cramps Taught Us, hosted by Graham Russell (of Dr Sketchy and Cockabilly notoriety). Expect desperate stabs from the jukebox jungle! Savage rhythms to make you writhe and rock! Now with grainy flickering black-and-white vintage erotica projected on the big screen all night for your adult viewing pleasure! Come for the special offer cocktails - stay for the putrid music and “blue” movies!

Admission: gratuit - that’s French for FREE!

Lobotomy Room: Faster. Further. Filthier.

It’s sleazy. It’s grubby. It’s trashy - you’ll love it!

A tawdry good time guaranteed!


Further reading:

Read about all the previous antics at Lobotomy Rooms to date hereherehereherehereherehereherehereherehere , hereherehere, hereherehere, herehere, here, here and here. 

Follow me on tumblr for all your kitsch, camp, retro vintage sleaze and fifties homoerotica needs!


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"Like" and follow the official Lobotomy Room page on Facebook if you dare!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Reflections on ... Multiple Maniacs (1970)


[I reviewed Criterion's new Blu-ray release of John Waters Multiple Maniacs for gay arts and culture website HISKIND in March 2017. Read it here.  Disappointingly, they edited the hell out of it, deleting all my efforts to put the film into context – so I’m posting it here in its uncut / uncensored original version!]

It’s looking increasingly unlikely cinema’s high potentate of trash John Waters will ever make another movie following 2004’s commercial flop A Dirty Shame. (In recent years, the 70-year old “peoples’ pervert” has successfully diversified, spreading his joyous message of filth via books and spoken word tours instead of films). 

But happily for Waters’ legions of fanatics ravenous for a lurid sensationalism fix, they get to rediscover one of his freshly-exhumed obscure classicks (sic). For decades, Multiple Maniacs (1970) - which Waters himself calls his “celluloid atrocity” - has been virtually impossible to see.  A grainy, scuzzy VHS was issued in the eighties, then it occasionally surfaced as a poor-quality pixelated bootleg (Waters’ legal team promptly deletes it every time it crops up on YouTube) - but until now it’s never officially been available on DVD or Blu-ray. And now Criterion has handled Multiple Maniacs like it’s a prestigious art movie, giving it a loving deluxe digital remaster treatment. Watching this crystalline deep velvety black-and-white revival of Multiple Maniacs is like experiencing a whole new film.


/ Divine as Lady Divine in Multiple Maniacs

Forty-seven years later, the restored, reviled and revolting Multiple Maniacs hasn’t lost its capacity to startle. It still feels insanely raw, nasty, punk and queer. And it’s essential to understanding Waters’ subsequent films (Multiple Maniacs suggests a preliminary sketch for his next film, 1972’s more famous Pink Flamingos). In her first starring role, Waters’ 300-pound hog princess drag queen leading lady and muse Divine portrays Lady Divine, the cruel and amoral proprietoress of traveling freak show “The Cavalcade of Perversions” of assorted sluts, fags, dykes and pimps. (The sensational revue incorporates vomit eaters, bicycle seat lickers, a junkie writhing in withdrawal and “two queers actually kissing on the lips like lovers”). When we first encounter Lady Divine, she’s lounging stark naked on a bed and barking orders at her minions – think Liz Taylor as Cleopatra. Upon learning her carnival barker boyfriend and criminal accomplice Mr David is leaving her for another woman, a homicidal Lady Divine embarks on a berserk rampage.  The film concludes with a cannibalistic blood orgy (Multiple Maniacs – made in ’69 – was Waters’ response to the Charles Manson Family murders in same way Beyond the Valley of the Dolls was for Russ Meyer). Oh and – spoiler alert – a giant lobster is involved.


/ David Lochary as Mr David in Multiple Maniacs /  

Sure, in technical terms neophyte Waters’ filmmaking is frankly amateurish (which makes Multiple Maniacs feel like a lunatic home movie) and the actors sometimes stumble over the verbose script. But there is much here to make a Waters devotee swoon in frenzied ecstasy. The cast features Waters’ familiar stable of regular actors at their most heartbreakingly youthful and fresh-faced, like David Lochary and Mink Stole (Raymond and Connie Marble, the villains of Pink Flamingos), Mary Vivian Pearce, Cookie Mueller as Divine’s hard-boiled lisping (frequently topless) juvenile delinquent daughter and – in her film debut - the beloved snaggle-toothed outsider actress and punk granny Edith Massey.  The vicious dialogue is predictably quotable (“I love you so fucking much that I could shit!” “And all at once she inserted her rosary into one of my most private parts …”) while the soundtrack encompasses ominous rumbling surf instrumentals and twangy rockabilly. Thematically, Multiple Maniacs sees Waters lashing out at his Catholic upbringing:  the “rosary job” Divine receives from perverted religious whore Mink Stole and the blasphemous re-enactment of the Stations of the Cross still feel taboo and sacrilegious. 


/ Edith Massey as The Virgin Mary in Multiple Maniacs

Best of all, Multiple Maniacs captures iconic freak diva Divine-in-embryo, still a fleshy young starlet or ingénue on the ascent.  Mincing around like Jayne Mansfield in a skin-tight leopard print pencil skirt and brunette wig, snarling her lines and sometimes actually foaming at the mouth in excitement, this represents early Divine at the height of her monstrous beauty.


The promotional tagline for Multiple Maniacs screams, “Better than amyl nitrate! Better than Carbona! Better than heroin!” What other film could live up to those claims? It’s like an intravenous jolt of bad taste. For long-term Waters aficionados, the Blu-ray release of Multiple Maniacs is the equivalent of Christmas day. For newcomers to Waters’ oeuvre, it offers an excellent introduction. Get corrupted!



MULTIPLE MANIACS - available to buy on Blu-ray from 20th March 2017 from the Criterion Collection 

Further reading: Read my epic 2010 interview with John Waters here